045: Nikita Chopra on Living with Psoriatic Arthritis and Channeling her Diagnosis into Advocacy

Uninvisible Pod

045: Nikita Chopra on Living with Psoriatic Arthritis and Channeling her Diagnosis into Advocacy

Nitika Chopra is, in her own words, “a woman on a mission to inspire radical self-love.” Her goal is not only to show us how to fall in love with…
October 23, 2019

045: Nikita Chopra on Living with Psoriatic Arthritis and Channeling her Diagnosis into Advocacy

Nitika Chopra is, in her own words, “a woman on a mission to inspire radical self-love.” Her goal is not only to show us how to fall in love with ourselves, but, like her, to “learn to thrive with a chronic illness.” If she’s one thing: she’s real. Nitika shares the raw pain she had to grow through in order to find that self-love she speaks so passionately about. Diagnosed with debilitating psoriasis at 10, she was further diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis – which at that point had taken over most of her body’s joints – at 19. She lived for years with unsightly sores from head to toe, unable to move without severe pain. She lived through, as she tells us in this episode, more than 15 years of pain, insecurity, confusion, and depression. In that darkness, she made a decision: “to be more committed to [her] happiness than [to her] suffering.” By 2010, she’d mastered the concepts of self-love and self-care and founded lifestyle magazine Bella Life; a few years later, her now-glowing skin came center-stage as she became the host of Naturally Beautiful, a talk show that aired on the holistic lifestyle channel Z Living. Most recently, she became a luxury skincare spokesperson and regular expert on QVC. She’s also the host of her own podcast, The Point of Pain, which explores how we can navigate pain in our lives – both literally and figuratively – with grace and heart. This week, she launches perhaps the most heart-centered of her projects to-date: the first annual Chronicon, in partnership with Healthline. For one day in New York City, she and numerous chronic illness advocates and experts will join panels (in an ADA-compliant space!) to talk about life with chronic illness: the good, the bad, and the ugly. She prides herself on being able to truthfully feel the fear – and do it anyway. And do it she does! We are so excited to hold space for this inspirational, real woman – who pulls no punches. Uninvisible Pod crew: meet Nitika! (P.S. We know you’re all wondering – and no, she’s not related to Deepak or Priyanka!) 

Tune in as Nitika reveals… 

– that she was 10 when she got her psoriasis diagnosis – following a sterile, cold experience being biopsied 

– that she was diagnosed with severe psoriatic arthritis at 19 

– that she still struggles with inflammation, which inspires self-love conversations with herself constantly 

– that she’s on AIP for her health 

– that just because she doesn’t have psoriasis all over her body, doesn’t mean she isn’t managing her symptoms daily 

– that she spent a lot of time beating herself up with what she calls “toxic positivity”, or the “pink bubble”, in the wellness space – that she followed the prevailing teaching that there was something misaligned in her perspective, and she had to fix it (and that, in essence, her ailments were her fault) 

– that she’s passionate about debunking “toxic positivity” 

– that her bones began to deform because of her arthritis 

– that she is a very spiritual person, and finally came to the conclusion that maybe God also made medicine to help cure her – not just to hurt her 

– her wake-up call to medicine: when she couldn’t make it to an audition, and realized that she wasn’t living a full life 

– that not everybody needs to take medication – but it really changed her life 

– that no amount of green juice would have saved her – she really required medicine 

– that in high school, she’d wake up with bloody sheets from the itching in her sleep 

– that her ex-husband made her feel that she could trust herself – that her gut was teaching her the right things, and she needed to listen to it 

– that she has truly become her own advocate, even though she’s always considered her mom to be her nurse 

– that she’s been creating content for 10+ years now, but her health journey was never what she wanted to lead with 

– that she’s always been proud of what she’s overcome and been through – but she didn’t want that journey to define her life 

– that in 2016, work began to dry up – and by the end of 2017, she had connected to her larger purpose: and realized it was time to talk about the one thing that moves her in a way that nothing else does – her health journey. As such, the world began opening up to her again 

– that when she meets someone who’s struggling with their body in ways that she can relate to, nothing moves her more than being able to help that person 

– how CurvyCon inspired her 

– that Chronicon feels like a place that she’s creating for a LOT of people to finally belong 

– how she creates balance in her life – and that she doesn’t manage everything perfectly, but she’s always learning 

– how she practices self-love and self-care 

– that she’s experienced more adversity as a woman in the medical system than as a woman of color 

– that getting divorced was less isolating than being chronically ill 

– that she started Chronicon in part to end the shame and isolation associated with chronic illness 

– the American Health Council’s projection: that by 2020, 157 million people will have a chronic illness 

– that she’s learning so much from attendees and panelists at Chronicon 

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